As I said in a previous post about being grown-up and mature, I am at a soul-searching point in my life. And part of that is trying to still figure out why people tend to behave like they are still in high school. You know…the cliques…the politics…the meanness…and the pecking order. I look around at people as an outside observer because I don’t really belong to a group of people other than my family and a few close friends. I don’t have a larger group…a clique, I guess you would call it…that I belong to.
In school I was always a loner, and not always by choice. I am socially awkward still and find that I have a hard time understanding the pecking order of our culture. It is a sad thing to me when I read the paper or watch the news or even just observe people around me in public or at work that we are a very clique driven culture. If you belong to a certain group due to ethnicity or colour or background or social standing or finances, you tend to stick with your own kind. Now I can understand this when it comes to maintaining the history and culture of a particular group to keep it alive and growing, but when it is just about keeping like-minded people in and non-like-minded people out, I just don’t understand. I think I am just too soft and naive and hope that people will like me or anyone else for that matter for the content of their mind and personality and how they treat other people rather than the numbers on their bank statement or where they stand in the pecking order.
I often think back to a summer I spent on a trout farm where I stayed and one of my jobs was to care for the flock of chickens that provided eggs and meat to the farm owners. I learned very quickly that chickens are some of the least intelligent animals I have ever met. And unfortunately some of the biggest bullies. Chickens form cliques or groups based on similarities in appearance or strength and will peck away at the chickens that are different. Whether those other chickens are weaker or a different colour, they will single them out and make their lives miserable. I used to protect the loner chickens from the bullies and try to ensure that they got a chance at the food. The other people who lived on the farm said that I shouldn’t bother because as soon as I left the chicken run, it would all start over again…it was the way of life for chickens…the establishment of the pecking order. And I know comparing people to chickens seems pretty cruel..but let’s be honest…people as a group are cruel even if people individually can be kind and generous.
I wonder when it will ever make sense to me why people behave the way they do. I took courses in university studying animal behaviour and I find myself adapting the things I learned in these courses to how I observe and watch other people and their interactions. We are animals after all. And even if our civilized brain tells us that we should work together and be kind, our primitive brain wants to protect what is ours…whether it is food, shelter, security, money, etc. So we stick together in small groups and defend ourselves against interlopers. High school was just a big chicken run and unfortunately, and my observations support this…we haven’t really grown out of the high school clique mentality. This is a global problem in my opinion. And it is sad!
I still try to remain optimistic about people, and the people I have close to me show me the positive wonderful way that people can be…kind, generous, considerate, loving and open. I guess that’s why I keep them close. I guess they are my clique after all.
Sorry if I seem to be veering off into uncharted territory in some of my posts, but I am more than just a thrifter and a refashioner and a cook, etc. I have ideas and opinions about things and would like to share them as well as hear what you have to say. What do you think about my wandering babble? Cheers, Michele